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Terry to face Criminal Charges in Race Row

England captain charged with using racist language

Posted Dec 22, 2011 by Chris White

John Terry is to face criminal charges

Chelsea and England captain John Terry is to face criminal charges of using racist language towards Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in October.

Terry is to be charged by the Crown Prosecution Service, (CPS), with a racially aggravated public order offence, something the 31-year old defender has vowed to fight “tooth and nail.” Police have been questioning Terry over the incident since November, with the CPS taking over earlier this month, and Alison Saunders, the chief crown prosecutor for London said “I have advised the Metropolitan Police that John Terry should be prosecuted for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments allegedly made during a match between QPR and Chelsea on 23rd October.

“I am satisfied that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute this case,” she continued. It has been revealed that new evidence was delivered to the CPS last week, featuring previously unseen footage from television cameras at the ground.

Centre half Terry, who has been capped 72 times by England and is in his second stint as captain having replaced David Beckham in 2006, only to be stripped of the armband after news of an affair with ex-team-mate Wayne Bridge’s girlfriend before the 2010 World Cup. He forms a vital part of the Chelsea team and featured heavily in their three Premier League titles, but missed a penalty in the shootout of the Champions League final against Manchester United in Moscow in 2008.

In a brief statement, Terry has said that he is “Extremely disappointed with the decision, and I hope to be given the chance to clear my name as soon as possible. I have never aimed a racist remark at anyone and count people from all races and creeds among my closest friends. I’ve campaigned against racism and believe there is no place for it in society.”

His club have also released a statement, which read “John has made it clear he denies the charge and is determined to prove his innocence. Chelsea FC have always been fully supportive of John in this matter and will continue to do so.”

The news of Terry’s charge came just hours after the FA gave Liverpool striker Luis Suarez an 8-game ban for a similar offence aimed at Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

Terry is due in court on 1st February, with the maximum sentence for the offence a fine of £2,500, although the Football Association would then be appeal to hand out a punishment of their own which could be similar to that given to Suarez.

Several key sponsors of Terry and the England team, Umbro and Vauxhall, have announced that they are to monitor the situation closely before making an announcement on their future with the England skipper, who could be stripped of the armband once again if found guilty.

Should Terry be charged for the offence? What punishment should he be given? Give us your thoughts here, on Twitter @ImagineSoccer or on Facebook by clicking here.

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